The recent passing of my friends George Kretsinger and Chuck Clayton reminded me that not much has been in print regarding the death last June of another of Idyllwild’s finest people. Even some locals who knew him well did not realize that John Holt passed away in Portland last year.
John was a long-time Hill resident and the local land surveyor for almost 30 years. He and I shared an office in Idyllwild for 27 years and retired at the same time. John was very involved in community affairs. He revitalized the Idyllwild Boy Scout program and provided superb leadership to so many boys, some of whom still live and work in our community. John was a big influence in all their lives.
John worked on so many local issues. He was a close friend of Ernie Maxwell, and together they dealt with a number of environmental, and other, causes.
John was one of the best men I have ever known. He was intelligent, thoughtful, caring, plain spoken and brave. He served in combat in Vietnam and was an example to all of us. And yes, he was at Woodstock for the original music festival in l969.
Jana, Lee Arnson and I visited John in Portland shortly before he died. We reminisced and told stories that made us smile. He was the same John we’d always known.
John left behind many friends and relatives. Among them is his beloved wife, Suzanne, son and daughter-in-law Evan and Rebecca, and the finest gift he ever received, the apple of his eye, his grandson, Forrest.
There is not a day that goes by that we do not think of John and remember something he said or did. He was one of a kind and one of the best friends I’ve ever had, or will ever have. At ease my old friend.
J. Kent Steele